Who and what is your reflection?

What will people describe you as when you are returned to Allah (God)? The words that come to your mind are a reflection of who you are.

Sissy Ta-NeeshaWhen you left, I seen positivity, nothing but uplifting words because that’s what you did for many.

You made me appreciate life more and you’ve helped remind me of the importance of what it means to reflect. You reflect The Teachings and found many ways to do so on and offline. You complemented others when they complimented you. Still to this very day, you continue to be a light, an angel for many of us.

Although, there’s so much I want and have to say, I just want to share the words of others. Click their names to read their reflections.

Sister Alisa Renee 
Sister Ebboni X
Sister Emunah X

How are le brain waves?

Thank you Sisters for contributing. This means so much to me and I love you dearly.

How are le brain waves?

Sometimes connections you have are with those who are far away. And there’s a lesson they have for us across the other side of the world if only we listen to the inner god in them. Sister, I love and thank you for being a reflection.

Sister Ta-Neesha 1Today, I’m not going to let my “brain waves weary”, that’s what she used to say.  But I am going to search for me in her.

She reminds me of me. The judgement from a lack of being understood with a beautiful and free-spirited personable personality.

I don’t recall our first initial conversation. However, I do remember the first time we had a real exchange on Twitter in 2014. She reminded me of myself. She lived far from the mosque (one of the struggles we both share) and those who she had a connection with were Sisters who lived in the U.S., which she did not. 

She was literally someone who could get along with anyone, if only people tried. I know her as someone who did not judge, but who was discriminated by many. She was so supportive and selective with her word choice when dealing with others. I could tell how much she grew in a year timespan.

In 2015, I realized how much we were alike and how we would turn the tables in uplifting one another. Turned out we both needed one another at different times. She was one of my accountability partners.

From the support that we both offered, we then began to share what we planned for our future. We discussed heartbreak, marriage, mostly having a nation of children within our homes. We were alike in so many ways.

fullsizerenderSad that I lost our messages in my phone. There were so many reminders, words of encouragement and personal stories, but I’m happy that I can go online and see glimpses of her again.

Sister Ta-Neesha, my Jamaican cultured Sis with a Canadian accent, I will like Buju Banton “rule our destiny”. This is one of our favorite songs that we shared, a lot of power in it, I encourage you to click the link for a listen.

You are missed.
You are loved.
You are remembered.
*In your voice* Thank you kindly beloved.
Your reflection lives on.
Le brain waves are on a high plane.

Read more reflections here.

* Sister Alisa Renee * Sister Ebboni X * Sister Emunah X * Accepting a transition begins a new journey

Who is responsible for you?

I spoke with three (possibly more) of my accountability partners today and I couldn’t do anything, but smile.

I can tell they genuinely care about making their word bond to the agreements we’ve made with one another. Their follow-ups, even without a consistent follow-up from me means a lot. I’m not perfect. Sometimes, I slack off in my responsibility to them. What I’ve learned is that trading places is healthy.

In friendships, it’s important for friends to understand that there’s going to be a time when you’re not the focus of the relationship.

Although, both partners have a duty towards one another, there’s going to come a time when one of the partners needs the other more. If the two don’t understand that, the ship will sink. I think my partners understand and actually appreciate the relationship we’re building.

I have multiple accountability partners because people are in your life for different reasons. I’ve learned to appreciate that everyone can’t help me the way that the next can. It’s not to say that any of my accountability partners are greater than the other. It’s to show that I am able to accept who I am and who they are. Their gifts are unraveling before my eyes and everyday I learn to appreciate them more and more. They’re not my friends. They’re my accountability partners, my family and we’re developing a beautiful bond.

Earlier, I mentioned that I possibly spoken with more than three partners because I think I’ve unofficially acquired more. What a gift! It’s very humbling that anyone would trust me to help them in life and I am thankful for anyone who is willing to help me.

To any of my accountability partners: I apologize when I’m not serving you in the best way that I can. I thank you for serving me when I’m not my best. I thank you for understanding and never complaining. I thank you for allowing me to serve you when all is well with me. I thank you for still trusting in me when I’m sometimes not myself. I thank you for allowing me to say, ‘if I’m not able to give my best, it’s better to remove myself’. Your understanding of me saying no or taking a momentary break means everything. Last, I thank you for showing me your growth areas, strengths, and vulnerabilities. You’re helping me transform and I bear witness to the power of having accountability partners.

Friends are meant to be used, not misused or abused. -Antonio Monix
“Friends are meant to be Used, not misUsed or AbUsed.”

I think that’s such a powerful quote. Lets parse words, according to dictionary.com.

  • Use: employed for a purpose; utilized
  • Misuse: to treat badly or abusively
  • Abuse: to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way

My accountability partners serve in my life for a purpose. They’re not employed, but I like to think of them as freelancers (smile) who are independently serving me and others in their walk of life. I am so thankful to have them on my journey. I pray that we “use” with a purpose, but never “misuse” or “abuse”.

Who’s responsible for you?

  • Ultimately you are, but we can’t do anything alone in life. Yes, we have The Most High, but there’s a god in each of us. So there’s power in connecting with your brothers and sisters to help bring the best of you out.
  • After being dutiful to yourself and your husband/wife (if you’re married), you have a duty to your community. When you notice someone is in need, you shall not turn away. You shall extend a hand and do the best you can to help someone. When you misuse and abuse others, you’re essentially inflicting yourself and exposing who you really are.

We must all be accountability partners to one another. It’s one way to implement self-improvement, which is the basis of community development as taught by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Interact With Us

Do you have an accountability partner? If not, I encourage you to get at least two. If you have an accountability partner, tell us about your experience.  

Chances are, there’s still a chance. | Inspired by Love and Basketball

Is it true that you didn’t complete everything you had on your list for 2016 and neither did you start on the goal you had on your list yesterday? If you answered yes, let’s not beat ourselves up about it. Minor accomplishments are morale boosters for the next goal. If you answered no, don’t forget to cheer everyone else on. Remember we’re a team.

Please note, if you have not seen the movie Love and Basketball, the remainder of this post may not make sense. 

Like Monica McCall (Sanaa Lathan) in Love and Basketball said to chances-are-djawpher parents about getting into the college of her choice “chances are there’s still a chance”. She was accepted into the college right?

She may have not been recognized by the coach when she expected, but she was chosen at the right time. Although her options were “in the air”, she continued to keep her goal at the forefront of her mind. Despite the obstacles of pressure from her family to pursue a different path and defensive players on the court, she knew Spalding (basketball) was still her choice.

Think about the goals you’ve set for yourself and ask yourself the following:

1) Who are the people who are trying to turn you away from your Spalding (your goals)?

Dismiss these people. Okay, maybe you can’t because some of these individuals are family. I understand, but just because someone is a part of your life, it doesn’t mean they need to know everything about you. I don’t and won’t share all of my goals with everyone in my circle and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this.

2) Who is the Lena Wright (Monica McCall’s sister), the person supporting you in your life?

You remember Lena (her sister)? You need multiple people who are going to be your cheerleaders. It means a lot to have people in your corner encouraging you in the good and bad times, someone to say “it’s okay”. Lena was actually more than a cheerleader. She did Monica’s hair and even got her a date to the dance. No matchmaking (I don’t believe that’s any of our roles). However, it’s nice to have a friend who’s willing to go the extra mile.

3) Who is the person who you don’t mind knocking on your window late at night?

You don’t want anyone coming to your house late, but it’s always great to have that friend that you can call at anytime. This may be  the person, you know you can call when your goals are all out of whack (accountability partner). Keep this person on speed dial, but don’t abuse the friendship. When this person needs you, be there for them. If you have curfew, find another way to communicate with them. You never know they may be a Quincy and decide they need another friend. We all know this was an intimate relationship between Quincy & Monica. I still think the same concept of being there for your friend remains. Just make sure your so-called friend, isn’t making you choose between priorities.

4) Who is Sidra O’Neal?

Remember the person Monica was in competition with throughout college?

Find you someone who you can compete with in a healthy way. There’s absolutely no reason for any of us to be competing in a rival way.

Last, we gotta be a Lena, Quincy, and Sidra to ourselves.

You show your love for yourself by giving you everything that you want everyone else to give to you.

You can even be your own Sidra. Yes, you even have to look at yourself in the mirror and say ‘self I’m going to be better than you were yesterday’.

Take a look at your goals quarter by quarter. Remember watching Monica’s growth quarter by quarter? As you’re planning and getting organized, don’t allow your time to turn into clutter. We sometimes get so caught into accomplishing our goals to the point where we’re paying attention to the deadlines we’ve set, but not the actual task itself. Remember quality is better than quantity. If you can’t meet your deadline, you may want to think about pushing your date back.

Most of all, remember, “chances are there’s still a chance”, but don’t take a chance with your life. Overall, be patient and remember your timeline is already built out by God Himself.

Monica went to the college she wanted, married her man, and went to the pro’s. You can accomplish all of your goals, as well! Double or nothing right?

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this blog post. I hope you appreciated the Love and Basketball references.

I Can’t Breathe.

(written in 2015)

I can’t breathe.

I’m suffocating in my mind full of hope, although I feel as if there’s nothing to hope for.

I’m asked to do this and that and even when I know that I’ve exceeded my bandwidth, I still continue to give out my data.

I keep waiting to be recognized for my work or at least appreciated.

With every trial that I face, it makes me wonder what did I do? I keep putting positivity into the universe, but getting back negativity. What is it that I’m doing, but that I can’t possibly see. Am I in a different reality?

I can’t breathe. Or is it that I can’t see?

I love myself and love others just as hard… But it seems as if I’m forgotten about often, especially when needed the most, but somehow I remember everyone in every moment.

People always say they’re down to help and support, but instead the outcome ends in zero results with me being let down.

And I’m down. I’m exceeding my limit…

I can’t breathe.

But still I go back and I give more of me, because I haven’t learned what it’s like to be the only Destiny for me. I mean I haven’t learned how to give myself just to me. I haven’t learned how to only give to me.

I mean I’ve heard & read about it, but that’s just not me.

I can’t breathe.

But maybe I rather not breathe because the more I step out to help, the more I learn about how I need more oxygen, I mean more experiences to grow.

Or is this just an imbalanced me? I can’t breathe.

In my emotional realm, I close my eyes and I begin to see all that’s around me… And I understand why I can’t breathe because this world is so clouded and I’m in a world where everyone needs someone… And that’s why I can’t breathe because I want to give, I want to help be a part of the ones that extend, even if that means that no one reaches out to me.

And I do that because this isn’t about me. I’m not saying that I don’t deserve just as much I give. I know my value, so I know that I deserve as much as I’m willing to pour, because reciprocity is what I look for…

But when I think about the Wanda Johnson’s of the world. I think about all of the mothers who have sacrificed their lives to bring forth life, but the life that they brought forth was ended by the devil… And when I think more, I see how strong they stand to keep their loved ones names known. I see how their legacy goes on. I thank Wanda Johnson who I hugged, she’s the mother of 22-year-young Oscar Grant, who was killed due to police brutality. It’s been 6 years and his mother still stands strong.

I’m here feeling like I can’t breathe while there’s many mothers who were willing to sacrifice their life to bring forth life, and then lose the life of the ones they’ve birthed…

And then I start to think about Allah’s vision and how He’s bringing it forth through The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. And it causes me to remember my role… I’m His helpmeet, so I’ll step up no matter what everyone sees because I know my work towards His mission is pleasing to Him…

So now my ‘I can’t breathe’ is not about me, instead it’s about all of my brothers and sisters that I’ve lost… And I’m sick of seeing these devils get away.. I can’t breathe without Justice. And when there’s no Justice, there’s no peace… So I’m going to keep pushing until there’s Justice or Else… So I’ll no longer say that I can’t breathe because of me but because of us.

It is not just a new year. We must acknowledge one of our brothers, Oscar Grant.

He was 22 years old.
Photo credits: directly from Fruitvale Station

If you have not seen Fruitvale Station, I highly encourage you to watch this film of a real-life catastrophe based on the last 24 hours of 22-year young Oscar Grant, who was shot by a white San Francisco transit police officer on New Year’s Day of 2009. This was the first time I can recall feeling a growing pain in my heart due to the fact of losing brothers and sisters because of police brutality. 

Oscar Grant was the spark of me wanting to be an activist. I couldn’t believe this happened and I will never forget the moment, when I watched this movie in December of 2013… Fruitvale Station was one of the steps towards changing my life forever. Why? Because I want to be a part of the change and I know a part of that is informing people of Oscar’s story.

If it was 2013 and I was just finding out about what happened to our Brother in 2009, I knew something was absolutely wrong with this picture. Why did it take a movie for me to learn about our Brother? And why wasn’t this movie in theaters? I wanted answers. Most importantly, I knew I wasn’t going to be a part of the silence or the numbness that some of us have. 

Read my poem “I Can’t Breathe. where I mention Wanda Johnson, the mother of Oscar Grant. Watch the trailer of Fruitvale Station here and if you have Netflix, watch it for free there.

Every year, I think about Oscar Grant. I think about Wanda Johnson, as well because her birthday is on December 31. Not only does she think about what happened to her son every year, but I’m sure a birthday for her will never be the same. In addition, Oscar Grant was a father of Tatiana Grant. That hurts my heart… The bigger problem is we’ve seen this happened time and time again… So when you’re thinking about this year, be thankful for having another moment on Earth. Last, spread the word to inform others because it’s important that we don’t allow their death to be in vain.

Remember, the year is what you create. It may not be a “happy” year, but we can definitely create a “peaceful” one.

Peaceful year to you, your family, friends, and the environment you create!

In close, I would like us to reflect on The Minister’s words:

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

The first day of the New Year should be a day of reflection, a day of prayer, a day of praise and thanks that we were blessed to make it through the last year, because there are so many of those that we know, those that we love, who started the New Year with us last year, but did not know that it would be the beginning of their last year on this Earth. So when we are fortunate to be alive to see an old year go out, and a new year comes in, for me, that time should be spent reflecting and thanking God for those who touched our lives and sweetened our own presence on this Earth, but are no longer present with us.

-The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,

Our Demonstration of Love for The New Year

Peaceful New Year!

Welcome to 2017. I am so excited and thankful to have another opportunity to grow into the person God intends for me to be. That’s what I think of throughout the year: ‘how can I be better? How can I progress versus just displaying potential?

Not better in the sense of, “it’s a new year, new me & I’m on my new ish!” I’m not discouraging anyone from saying this, I just think it’s burned out. 

Yes, it’s correct when I say I’m not going to be the same person as I was in 2016. I’m not even the same person as I was yesterday or any other day. Thanks to Allah for making all things new. However, this can only be true when you put the work in before the actual deadline. If you waited until today to start your list of trillions of resolutions, lets just be realistic and admit that all of them most likely won’t be accomplished. This is NOT me being negative. This is honesty. Some of us procrastinate up until the day before the big event. Please help me understand the logic in this? Okay, I’m sometimes this person, but it’s not fair to you. You should give yourself the best. The best can’t happen without proper care and proper care deserves preparation & time.

During Q4 of 2016, I planned my life for 2017. I literally saw and am seeing a glimpse of what this year has in store for me. Not just the visuals, but what it actually feels like. With every mistake I made, I planted a seed of change in my garden (my mind). 

Painting credits: Maleeka Holden, @leekdaruler on Instagram
Painting credits: Maleeka Holden, @leekdaruler on Instagram

Now, every seed that I’ve planted will be manifested because I am properly going to continue to nurture the seeds that I’ve planted.

I’ve already begun to apply the many lessons I’ve learned, but the ground work started last year so that I can manifest my short, but fulfilling list of change and goals. This doesn’t mean I’m “claiming” to leave everything behind. I know I’m going to make more mistakes. However, now I can see my destiny a little more clearer than I could before.

I believe pain can be used for a greater good. My pain allowed me to relearn what’s in my heart.

This is why I began with “peaceful new year” because you don’t know how a person left 2016. I know I’m not the only one who experienced trial and error, but I know there are folks who haven’t properly healed yet. Therefore, the word “peaceful” may uplift someone, while the word “happy” may remind someone of their condition that they’re not necessarily “happy” with.

In the near future, I’ll share my journey of healing with hopes that they serve as tips that you can implement or share with a loved one. If you have any submissions or want to be a featured writer to help others on their journey, please feel free to visit our Share Your Story page.

Thank you for reading my first blog post. It is not just a new year. We must acknowledge one of our brothers on this day. Please click here for the next post.